Milk Supply and Prepaying
It is with great disappointment we inform you of the realities of going against the grain of society. We opted long ago (by vote of our customers) not to give our dairy cows grain. This automatically means milk volume would be lower. We also only milk our cows only once a day. It also decreases milk volume. As a result our milk has always had plenty of cream floating in the top of the jar. It is what I like to think of as nutrient-dense milk. The cream carries the fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. Every store day we hear another story of how it is impacting the lives of those who drink it! So very encouraging! Thank you all for sharing them.
But when you go against society and do thing differently there are problems. Our cows genetics are from large industrial dairies for the last 60+ years. They are optimized to lots of grain and twice a day milking. We have been keeping the best calves and cows to improve the genetics but there is a caveat–some cows must be culled because they just don’t perform well (giving enough milk or staying healthy). That is where our current milk supply problem stems from.
In early June, milk supply was just a bit lower than normal but we had three calves due soon so we knew it was a short term inconvenience. The three young heifers had their calves but all three are TERRIBLE MILKERS. They just don’t give much milk. So our minor inconvenience has turned into a long term problems since we don’t have another calf due for a while.
So what kind of solution or strategy can we come up with???
We have always allowed customers to prepay for their milk so that seems logical to continue.
They commit to picking up X number of jars of milk on the schedule agreed upon (typically biweekly).
We commit to having it available for them not selling it to new customers.
However, this last month we have LOTS of people who have prepaid and show up only when it is convenient for them. Thinking the prepaid customers will be coming since they are signed up I turn away customers but then they never show. This feels terrible to me and the ones who have been turned away needlessly.
So we are implementing a few new guidelines for PREPAYING IN THE STORE:
OUR commitment to YOU:
We will sell up to 80% of our milk as prepaid.
We will reserve it for you until the last hour of the store.
We will allow up to 20% of the milk to be available for walk in customers. This accommodates for flexibility in production.
YOUR commitment to US:
You will show up by “the deadline” which is 5 pm Tuesdays or 2 pm Saturdays.
You will call/text before the store opens if you will be late or not able to come.
You will inform us of vacations/schedule changes before the store date.
You understand we will sell any milk remaining the last hour of the store.
You acknowledge that if you regularly forget you will not be allowed to prepay.
There will not be enough milk for every person to prepay. We will give first priority to people who have been prepaying the longest and are the most regular.
Many of the long time regular customers prepay for 2-3 months at a time. We really appreciate this since we are able to know where their level of commitment is at. Historically, we had everyone prepay on a schedule which allowed us to get enough money upfront to buy another cow and end the shortage. It would be great if we could do that again.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to brainstorm!
Now all of you in ST. LOUIS are wondering what will happen to you. Fair enough. We have been putting limits on the milk and doing a first come, first served method. We will continue with that for the time being.
Get your thinking caps on people!
Brand new to the farm? Wondering how this affects you? We will have to ask you to wait a bit until things stabilize. Please feel free to support the farm in other ways in the meantime.
Everyone thank you so much for being understanding. It is a hard to navigate path when you are working with so many needs. Please understand we are doing the best we can.